Bucharest Metro operator to purchase more modern trainsets

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Metrorex, the operator of the Bucharest Metro in Romania's capital, has signed a US$144 million contract with Bombardier for the delivery of 20 additional six-car metro trains for the network. This marks the second phase of the Bucharest Metro's modernisation, the first being the order of 108 state-of-the-art trainsets from Bombadier in 1999. The first series of trainsets were put into operation in 2002 and currently operate on Line 2 of the metro. The second order, signed on January 18, 2005, will ensure that, by 2006, the Bombadier trainsets will service all four lines of the network, transforming the Bucharest Metro into one of the most modern systems in Europe.

The parts for the cars will be produced in Germany and Sweden, with the final assembly taking place in Craiova, Romania.

Since 1999, the Bucharest Metro, which is the largest urban rail system in southeastern Europe, has embarked on a comprehensive modernisation campaign. Marius Lapadat, the general director of Metrorex, claims that "residents and visitors... are impressed with these new state-of-the-art trains", referring to the 108 Bombadier trainsets already running on Line 2 of the network.

This second order is expected to further consolidate the Metro's image as a modern and convenient way of travelling, especially since line extensions are being constructed presently. Lapadat also stated that, "The metro provides a modern feel to Bucharest which is important for our economic future." In early 2003, Metrorex ordered new traffic control and interlocking systems worth US$14 million from Bombardier.

The modernisation programme for the Bucharest Metro, including the order for new trainsets, is funded equally by Metrorex and the European Investment Bank, each contributing 50% to the entire sum.